When things are really busy, I am one of those people who has trouble shutting off at night. There are always so many things to do and so many things on my mind, I just find myself constantly worrying and thinking over what I did today and what I’ll do tomorrow and how to make everything work. Shockingly, it led to poor sleep which basically made everything else harder.
While most of my friends and relatives suggested I try taking some sleeping medicine or something to help me relax at night, I’m not a huge fan of that idea. Most sleep medication is habit-forming, and I don’t like the idea of that. Besides, it can’t be good for you, can it?
Anyway, being an old-fashioned sort of person, I decided to look into some alternative methods for relaxing at night and eventually settled on three small changes to try for better sleep. First, I cut all screen time at least a half hour before bed. I instead try reading or writing in my journal. But, more importantly, I made up a nightly tea which I drink every night about an hour before bed to relax.
I’ve been doing this for a couple of months now, and let me tell you: it works wonders! There are still nights that I sleep poorly (I mean, tea can only do so much), but it’s greatly improved.
Here is my secret tea recipe:
- 1 Tablespoon dried lemon balm
- 1 – 2 teaspoons German chamomile
- Honey (to taste)
First, you heat the water either on the stove or microwave, although I find that using the stove top tends to taste better. Then while waiting for the water to boil, mix all of your ingredients and put them in a tea ball. Pour boiling water over the tea and let it steep for 3 – 5 minutes (but no longer or it will be bitter!). Add honey to taste and drink!
The tea has a very mild and vaguely fruitlike taste thanks to the lemon tones of the lemon balm and the apple undertones of the chamomile. However, it isn’t super sweet and the honey is almost not necessary, in my opinion. The more you drink it, the better you will become acquainted with the taste.
Why does it work?
Lemon balm is a very versatile plant and acts as a natural calming agent and also will help reduce anxiety, help headaches or minor pains (including tooth aches and menstrual cramps), calm the stomach and promote better sleep. Both chamomile and lavender will help you relax and chamomile actually can be a mild sedative with zero side effects (although if you have flower allergies it should be taken with a little caution. Read more about Chamomile and other sleep aids here.)
If you don’t have any looseleaf tea, you can either talk to your local health store to see if they sell any, or else order some online. You can also buy lemon balm tea bags if that’s more your style.